Neath Port Talbot Council has responded to the joint statement issued by the Welsh Government, the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), the Confederation of Passenger Transport and Coach and Bus Association Cymru on Friday 10th February 2023.
The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Steve Hunt said : “I welcome the news that Welsh Government is not to proceed with an immediate withdrawal of the Bus Emergency Scheme Grant as this has been a crucial form of support that has kept bus services running throughout the pandemic.”
He continued: “I note that further dialogue will now take place between Welsh Government and the sector but want to make it clear a reduction in investment by Welsh Government to support bus services will have major consequences for residents across Neath Port Talbot.
“Bus services are essential services.”
Bus services across Neath Port Talbot support access for many residents to essential services. These include:
College students in accessing learning at NPTC Group:
Learners accessing their education across Neath Port Talbot schools;
Residents who need to access public transport to access services such as health services;
Residents who use bus services to get to work;
Local employers who rely on the local bus network to be able to sustain a workforce.
Cllr Hunt called for common sense to prevail. He said: “The three months extension of time needs to be used to properly understand the impact of reducing investment in bus services. Bus services are relied upon by the elderly, by our young people and by those with limited income.
“The Welsh Government needs to look again at this proposal and find ways of ensuring that those who are most in need do not have their means of accessing vital services cut off because of ill-judged investment decisions.”